Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Rule 28 - Finishing

Dan Bowman
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
This was posted in another forum and the poster said this occurred during an event this year, but since it was absent personal details it seems clean enough to post here without impugning anyone.  I thought I knew the answer to some of the questions being posted but one stumped me.  Quoting the post text and image that are not from me.

The very first response to the thread poster was correct, that this exact scenario is covered in Case 106.  What stumped me was another poster asked if the boat had not gone around the line but instead had sailed up underneath the finish line to the course side, then turned back to the line and crossed.  Would that constitute a proper finish and if not what case covers this?  Case 90 sorta seems to indicate to me that it does not because when the line is pulled taught, the dip up into the line disappears.  Also the SI rule 8.2.6 seems to leave such a finish as incorrect?  Or perhaps I'm not reading it correctly?

Original post.

Recent large (120 boats +) distance race.
 
When approaching the finish line the wind shut down and the current carried 20 or so boats past the committee boat end of the line. Many of these boats found enough wind to sail under the finish line and circle up and around the finish pin to cross the line from the course side (crude drawing below). These boats received horns and were scored by the committee. Other boats felt Rule 28.2 required sailing back around the committee boat before finishing which took much longer.
 
From the race SI's -
8.2.6 Finish between the race committee boat and xxxxx buoy, leaving the race committee boat to starboard.



It doesn't really matter since I believe the boats flushed past the line were all later finishers, and not in line for the podium, but useful information for the future. Who was right? 
Created: 22-Dec-09 17:10

Comments

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Case 106 ... and in Case 90 look at Boat A vs Boat B discussion
Created: 22-Dec-09 17:11
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
2
Agree that as diagrammed the finish is correct and the boat has complied with 28.1 and the definition of Sail the Course.

Application of the string rule for the "dip" finish, similar to the track of Boat B in Case 90, indicates that the boat would not comply with definition of Sail the Course. Question might also be whether the boat has met the definition of Finish, depending on whether she crosses entirely to the course side of the finish line or not.
Created: 22-Dec-09 17:37
John Standley
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
While I accept the boat meets the definition of Finish I do not feel she has fully complied with Sail the Course.
Definition of Sail the Course reads:

(a)    passes each mark of the course on the required side and in the correct order, (my emphasis)

When sailing to the finish line both ends of the line are marks of the course so to pass them in the correct order they need to be passed simultaneously on their correct side.

By sailing the course shown above and in Case 106 the boat initially passes one end of the finish line in the correct order but not on the required side.

My understanding of the string rule is that, when you pull the string tight, you leave in all live marks so the string will always lie on the incorrect side of the finish pin when the boat passes it in the correct order.
Would be interested in others' thoughts on this.

Created: 22-Dec-10 00:55
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John, I think there are 2 ways to answer this.

First answer is direct but not very satisfying, and that is “Case 106 directly answers the question and it is an authoritative interpretation of the RRS in this situation”.

The second therefore might be phrased as defense of Case 106.  If I was to give it the ole’ college try to do that, I might argue something along these lines ….

I’d start with rule 28.1 (emphasis added)

28.1. A boat shall start, sail the course and then finish. While doing so, she may leave on either side a mark that does not begin, bound or end the leg she is sailing. After finishing she need not cross the finishing line completely. 

I would note that “sail the course”, “start” and “finish” are listed distinctly and in a time-order of execution.  That is because def: Sail the Course does not include a definition for “finish” and that they are separate acts.  A boat sails the course and then finishes.

Notice the word “until” in the STC def (emphasis added) also supports a time-order of the acts. 

Sail the Course: A boat sails the course provided that a string representing her track from the time she begins to approach the starting line from its prestart side to start until she finishes,

Finish: A boat finishes when, after starting, any part of her hull crosses the finishing line from the course side.

I would argue that though the marks which define the finish line are certainly marks of the course (see def: mark), it is the finish-line itself which defines the end of the final leg.  A boat which has rounded all the previous marks now only has one job, and that is to finish, which is crossing finishing-line from the course side.  

A boat does not have to “pass” the marks which define the finish-line on a required side. A boat only has to cross the line from the course side, which is defined by those marks.

Anyway, I think that’s  the best I can come up with. 
Created: 22-Dec-10 14:46
Jim Champ
Nationality: United Kingdom
0
> A boat only has to cross the line

Indeed. My club suffers from the "hook finish" syndrome from time to time with amateur ROs setting the CB on the "wrong" side of a previous turning mark when shortening course. I explain it as "you do not round finishing marks: you cross a finishing line".
Created: 22-Dec-10 16:22
P
Antonio Fernandes
Nationality: Portugal
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Judge In Training
  • Race Officer In Training
0
I think the expression "drawn taut" only, in Cases 106 and 90, can be misleading when you fix the line to make it straight. Any comments?
Created: 22-Dec-10 18:34
John Standley
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Angelo,
I accept Case 106 (as we have to) but have always felt it does not properly address the 'correct order' provision in the Sail the Course definition.and my post was really to canvas others' views on that.
In Case 106 the correct order for the boats to Sail the Course is, after rounding the previous mark to cross the finish line leaving the CV to port and the pin to starboard.
As the finish marks are 'live' when approaching the finish they have a required side (whatever that is depending on the angle of the finish line to the last leg).
So by passing outside the pin and looping round to finish then yes, the boat has finished, but she has not passed the pin in the correct order and on its required side so has not Sailed the Course.

Created: 22-Dec-11 00:53
Jim Champ
Nationality: United Kingdom
0
Although, to play devil's advocate, boats are not required to round or pass the marks that delimit the finishing line. And a finish line need not have finish marks, although it would be something of a challenge to get a case 106 situation with a finish line set between objects on shore! I think it's possible to argue that a finish mark need not have a required side. One may cross the line, dip back and pass the mark on the other side. There's also the slightly peculiar case 58 to consider. 
Created: 22-Dec-11 01:19
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John, I hear you and I wasn’t intending to imply that you didn’t accept 106, but took from your post that you felt the explanation in it lacking of support (thus my answer 2).

My approach has been to try to establish, in the rules, that the marks that bound the FL are not passing marks (or rounding marks) that are evaluated in sail the course and that it is the FL line itself, and not it’s marks, which bounds the last leg. 

Maybe we can look to the last sentence of 28.1 to also somewhat support that as well?

28.1. A boat shall start, sail the course and then finish. While doing so, she may leave on either side a mark that does not begin, bound or end the leg she is sailing. After finishing she need not cross the finishing line completely. 

Isn’t crossing the line completely another way of saying “passing the marks” which define it?  In a sense it is, but again, it doesn’t mention the marks at all. The focus is on the finish-line, based upon def:finish (which also makes no mention of “marks”).

As Jim suggests, couldn’t a finish line for a distance race be “markless” and be defined as crossing a latitude in a given body of water,  with finish-time reported/recorded on GPS or monitored directly by the RC via satellite?

Also, Jim points to Case 58, but I think Case 82 directly supports the idea that it is the finishing-line that is important and that the marks are not passing marks to be evaluated in order by “sail the course”. 

Case 82 When a finishing line is laid so nearly in line with the last leg that it cannot be determined which is the correct way to cross it in order to finish according to the definition, a boat may cross the line in either direction and her finish is to be recorded accordingly.

In Case 82, we have boats finishing by passing the finish line marks on either side. Also, Case 82 doesn’t even mention the marks in its discussion-section, but rather focuses completely on the FL. 

Let me try to boil all this down to something more concise and suggest that …
  1. The FL itself, and not its marks, bound the final leg
  2. Def: Finish does not require/reference “passing” marks that might define it. 
  3. To “sail the race”, the FL marks (if they exist) need not be “passed” (last sentence of rule 28.1)
  4. Rule 28 separates as distinct in time and order  “sail the course” “and then” “finish”. 
  5. Case 82 is an example of boats passing the FL marks on either side. 

Therefore, a FL-mark is neither a passing or rounding mark which is evaluated in Sail the Course (a) or (b).  The only thing that matters on the last leg is when the boat “…crosses the finishing line from the course side”.

That’s my best WAG at it, in a way that addresses your sail the course (a) concern. 

Please shoot holes in it where possible (an invitation to all).
Created: 22-Dec-11 15:54
Jonathan Tebbens
Nationality: Canada
0
I would say that the SI are unambiguous. The FL has a finite length (between) and a prescribed direction of crossing (comittee to stbd). Until you cross BETWEEN, you have not finished. This is how our club usually sets the line, although one end is the committee shack on shore.
Created: 22-Dec-11 22:35
John Standley
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Angelo,
I agree that the finish marks could be classed as not being rounding or passing marks for the reasons you state. However rule 31 refers to a finish mark.
The definition of mark says that to be a mark it is something that a boat is required to leave on a required side. So a finish mark does have a required side (which can vary depending on the orientation of the line to the previous mark) and therefore I cannot see why, when approaching to finish, that should a boat choose to round or pass it then to comply with the correct order requirement in Sail the Course it should be rounded or passed on the correct side.
All that said this is a technical analysis of the various rules and cases that relate to what is a very rare happening and, apart from us judges who enjoy this type of analysis, I can see the average sailor just sitting there wondering what the hell we are talking about!
Created: 22-Dec-12 01:46
Aldo Balelli
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
Looks you're complicating  easy things.

Separate "Finish" from "Sail the course".  Two different concepts.
A boat can Finish, but still she might have not "sailed the course".

Draw of Den: 
boat finished ? Yes, she  ""crosses the finishing line from the course side"" 
She Sailed the course? Yes, by pulling the string, she  ""passes between the marks of a gate from the direction of the course from the previous mark"". 

1) Normal arrival: straight from above, between Boat and mark. Easy.
2) Wrong arrival: round the boat, cross finishing line from down up (wrong side) : she did not "Finish": DNF
3) Good Finishing, but..: Round the boat, cross the arrival from down up, then turn back, and cross the finishing line from the good side, up to down: boat "Finish" correctly. 
Pity, she did not sail the course. Pull the string, and the string will not pass between boat and mark: NSC. Sorry-O
4) Arrival as per Den drawing: correct, matching both definitions.

And that's it. 

If this situation happen during a shortening (rrs 32.2),  what was a rounding mark became a finishing mark (see RRS 32.2 (a)) and boats have to finish as per definition,  and forget about the original course.
Hook finishings are fordbidden.

I'm not seeing any complications.



Created: 22-Dec-12 11:04
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John re: “All that said this is a technical analysis of the various rules and cases that relate to what is a very rare happening and, apart from us judges who enjoy this type of analysis, I can see the average sailor just sitting there wondering what the hell we are talking about!”

Exactly … see my first reply to this thread! :-)

Case 106 ... and in Case 90 look at Boat A vs Boat B discussion
Created: 22-Dec-12 13:25
Aldo Balelli
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
not that rare situation, may I say.
On shortening course, when RC places the RC boat on the "wrong" side of the mark, as sometime happens, DNF are not that rare.
Created: 22-Dec-12 13:52
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